Many job seekers have described to me that submitting a resume in today's job market is mostly a banging-their-head-against-a-wall, extremely frustrating waste of time.
You want that resume to get you into an interview, but it doesn't. I think this could be why:
80% of employers
Google job seekers
before inviting them
into an interview!
If employers don't find something good and solid, that agrees with the resume -- a LinkedIn Profile is perfect for this -- you aren't invited in for an interview.
Interviewing job candidates is very expensive for an employer to do (second only to the cost of hiring the wrong candidate)! Consequently, employers use Google searches to try to avoid those expensive mistakes.
The resume-submission-to-interview-invitation process typically runs through these four steps:
Step 1. Resumes are received and screened into two groups ("possibles" and "no").
Step 2. Someone opens up a browser, and begins Googling the "possibles" which are then screened into three groups ("more likely" and "less likely" and "no") based on what is discovered - or NOT discovered.
Step 3. The "more likelys" are compared. Phone interviews (a.k.a. "phone screens") may be conducted.
Step 4. Invitations to interview are extended, and the real dance begins.
When nothing, or nothing good, is found about you, you end up in the "less likely" or "no" piles in step 2.
What Should Job Seekers Do in Response?
The good news is that job seekers can influence what is found in this process.
In addition, your participation will not only help you survive the Googling, it will also increase your "market value" and the size of your networks.
1. Google yourself!
Look at the first three or four pages to see what is visible to an employer about you.
DO NOT be happy if they find nothing about you on Google! That means either of two things to most employers -- you don't know how the world works today (so you are out-of-date) or you are hiding something. Neither of those two impressions will help you in your job search.
Then, practice Defensive Googling for the rest of your job search (and career).
2. Google anyone well-known and well-respected in your field.
What does Google show on the first page of search results? Assuming it doesn't show things like TIME magazine cover stories, a feature in The New York Times, a 60 MINUTES segment, and other similar high profile media mentions, carefully look at what you find. I bet you could also get visibility in most, if not all, of those venues!
If you Google my name, you'll find:
- My LinkedIn Profile
- My Twitter page
- My Google+ Profile (naturally!)
- My VisualCV
- My Facebook Profile
- My HuffingtonPost articles
- My Amazon Profile
- A Pinterest page
- A YouTube page
ALL of those pages are available for everyone at no cost. The LinkedIn and other social media pages are easy to set up and very popular with Google. The best part is that all of these pages describe me in my own words, because I wrote them! And because they are "public" for the world, including my colleagues and friends, to see, the assumption is that they're probably true, at least for the most part.
3. Read my Reputation Management (or Recovery) Post
You can manage this issue. It takes time to set up and develop, but once you have, it will take only an hour or two a week to maintain (assuming minimal participation). When you are in job search mode, you will be spending more time on this issue because it is so important to your job search.
4. Get busy working on your public image.
It's not just for movie and TV stars and musicians any more. We're all famous, at least a little, and the sooner you get started managing your public persona, the better off you will be. If you prefer, think of it as "personal branding." The greater your positive online visibility, the better your online reputation, and the greater the likelihood that you will have a response to your resume the next time you submit it to an appropriate opportunity.
Do review the steps in Defensive Googling to stay current with what Google shows the world about you.
Not Optional Any Longer
This post is in reaction to a discussion I had with a job seeker who is desperate for a job, but very reluctant to put herself "out there" online. Making matters worse, she is looking for a job in marketing. Anyone in marketing or sales today MUST demonstrate that they understand how the online marketplace works, so she is really hampering her job search. I hope she reads this and overcomes her fear of online visibility.
Follow me on G+ for more job search tips! https://plus.google.com/+SusanPJoyce/
Susan P. Joyce is president of NETability, Inc. and the editor and chief technology writer for Job-Hunt.org and WorkCoachCafe.com. This piece first appeared on WorkCoachCafe.com.